Prime Minister, there’s a call for you, it’s a guy called Darryl Kerrigan

Bill English thinks he can talk Donald Trump back into the TPP:

Engaging help from larger economies in Asia to try and change the trade direction and policy of the United States is a focus for the Government, the Prime Minister says.

Speaking at a New Zealand Trade and Enterprise breakfast ahead of the final day’s play at?the New Zealand Open, Prime Minister?Bill English?told about 80 mostly Asian business delegates?the Government was “aiming to have discussions” with larger economies countries like China,?about how best to?”change their [US] mind on the?direction” of their trade policy. ? Read more »

Trump: TPP a “job killer” and Australian refugee deal “dumb”

Australian Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull is hopeful the Trans-Pacific Partnership trade deal will survive with just 11 nations after Mr Trump withdrew the US from it just days into his presidency.

Mr Trump told the rally the TPP was a job killer and said he would pursue his pre-election plan of striking “tremendous” one-on-one trade deals with countries so the US does not “get caught in quicksand”.

“I followed through on my promise to withdraw from the job killing disaster known as the Trans-Pacific Partnership,” Mr Trump said to loud cheers.

Mr Turnbull and Mr Trump infamously clashed in a January 28 phone call about the refugee deal the prime minister struck with President Barack Obama last year.

Mr Trump has reluctantly said he will honour the deal despite calling it “dumb”, but the refugees currently held on Nauru and Manus Island will only be allowed into the US if they pass “extreme vetting”.

New Zealand has been wanting its share of them for years now, but the Aussies are hell bent on sending them to the United States instead. ? Read more »

“Na?ve Kiwi optimism” a hallmark of Bill English’s leadership

Prime Minister Bill English has cited “na?ve Kiwi optimism” as a driving factor in a New Zealand-led campaign to keep the Trans Pacific Partnership (TPP) alive.

English’s effort to keep the TPP in play will be centre-stage when he meets Australian Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull in Queenstown tomorrow.

“One particular area we will be focused on this weekend starting when PM Malcolm Turnbull turns up from Australia is trade,” English told a BusinessNZ gathering this week. “The US has pulled out of TPP and we are going to see if we can work with others to create a coalition to proceed with it even if the US isn’t in it. ” Read more »


English open to a FTA with Mexico, including the Bad Hombres

Seems Kumara Bill isn’t worried about the Bad Hombres in Mexico. ?Nor will he let the new wall get in the way of a trade deal.

A bilateral agreement with Mexico could be on the cards if a multi-nation deal can’t be done to replace the Trans-Pacific Partnership.

Prime Minister Bill English has appeared open to discussing a bilateral agreement with Mexico after it was raised by the nation this week. Read more »

Bill English dumps on Trump

English has declined to follow Key’s lead on another matter: that of sucking up to the President of the United States.

Key charmed and elbowed his way into former US President Barack Obama’s peripheral vision very soon after both became leaders. He has left Trump for English to deal with.

English has basically already thrown in the towel. If Key was the squeaky wheel seeking oil, English is the ostrich. He is staying quiet and hoping Trump does not notice him. Read more »


NZ Herald is right. Trump is wrong

Donald Trump could not have made it more blunt. “We assembled here today are issuing a new decree to be heard in every city, in every foreign capital, and in every hall of power,” he said in his inaugural address. “From this day forward, a new vision will govern our land. From this moment on, it’s going to be America First. Every decision on trade, on taxes, on immigration, on foreign affairs, will be made to benefit American workers and American families. We must protect our borders from the ravages of other countries making our products, stealing our companies, and destroying our jobs. Protection will lead to great prosperity and strength.”

In those sentiments it is possible to hear the end of the American century, an era of global leadership that grew out of Europe’s devastation in two world wars, prospered in the second half of the 20th century against a rival ideology and reached its apogee with the collapse of the Soviet Union. For the past 25 years American values of personal freedom, democracy, open markets and expanding trade has dominated international statecraft and brought prosperity to the United States as well as much of the developing world.

Read more »

Hope yet for TPP says Charles Finny

Charles Finny knows a thing or two about trade.

His NBR column explains why the Labour party shouldn’t be praising Donald Trump for the death of the TPP just yet.

Since the outcome of the US presidential election became clear, there have been many people commenting on the implications of the result for trade policy.?The views expressed are largely gloomy.

Some go so far as to suggest that globalisation is at an end and that the era of trade liberalisation died with it. Others suggest the US has created a leadership vacuum that China will fill. Yet more are suggesting a different approach to the way New Zealand negotiates free-trade agreements.

These people may well be proved correct but my advice to everyone is to take a cold shower and be more patient. It is too early to reach any firm judgments on what a Trump Administration is going to mean for trade policy.

Read more »

As predicted Trump is walking back his trade rhetoric

Donald Trump like to be thought of as the master of the deal.

Trashing the TPP was only ever going to be a piece of campaign rhetoric. He is now walking back his position:

United States president-elect Donald Trump is raising hopes his campaign bark was worse than his anti-free trade bite.

Less inflammatory language on Trump’s new website have raised hopes his anti-free trade campaign rhetoric will not be translated into action, as leaders gather for the annual 12-nation Apec meeting in Lima, Peru.

Trump ramped up his opposition to the North American Free trade agreement?and the Trans-Pacific Partnership?(TPP) during his run-off for the Republican nomination, and during clashes with Democrat Hillary Clinton. He had also?threatened to impose huge tariffs on Mexico, China and Japan.

But his?new “” website stresses fairness and putting the United States first in any trade deals, mentioning?none by name. ? Read more »


Who would have thought Trump would be useful to the NZ left?


With Trump, the TPP is dead in the water.

Prime Minister John Key has conceded the Trans-Pacific Partnership mega trade deal is dead in the water after the United States elected Donald Trump as its new president.

Mr Trump is fiercely opposed to the 12-nation trade agreement and Mr Key said his election means it is now unlikely to be passed during the so-called “lame duck” period between the presidential election the presidential inauguration on January 20.

“The probability of it passing in the lame duck period is if not zero then it’s very close to zero,” he told the Paul Henry show. Read more »


Key swings from one lost cause to another: the TPP

Prime Minister John Key has reinforced the benefits of the Trans Pacific Partnership in a speech to the Council on Foreign Relations in New York today.

Mr Key told the Council he welcomes the priority that the US Administration has placed on TPP?s passage through Congress this year.

“The Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) will help liberalise trade and investment between 12 Pacific-rim countries,” says Mr Key. “It will provide better access for goods and services to more than 800 million people across the TPP countries, which make up 36 per cent of global GDP.

“For New Zealand, it?s estimated it will boost our economy by at least $2.7 billion a year by 2030. It will help diversify our economy and create more jobs and higher incomes for New Zealanders. Read more »